2012 Run Rabbit Run 100 Preview

The Run Rabbit Run 100 has the strongest field of any first-year ultra in the US this year… by far. This Steamboat Springs, Colorado race also saw a ton of buzz even before the first runner had signed up. The “why” behind both facts – the race directors’ ambitious goal to eventually have a $100,000 prize purse. The RDs kicked things off with $10,000 of their own money and have built the purse up to $40,000 – the largest prize purse we’ve ever heard of for a trail ultra. Cash will go to the top five as such – 1. $10,000; 2. $3,500; 3. $2,000; 4. $1,500; 5. $1,000 – with another $1,000 going to the top master’s run if there are at least four such starters.

Another unique feature of the race is that it’s actually two races – one for the tortoises and one for the hares. The elite hares race starts a few hours after the main field. Only those in the hares race are eligible for the primary prize purse (10% of the purse will go to the tortoise race). Those in the hares race are subject to additional rules such as being prohibited from using pacers or trekking poles.

As expected, iRunFar.com will be livecasting this year’s Run Rabbit Run 100. You can follow all the action on our 2012 Run Rabbit Run 100 Live Coverage page and on iRunFar’s Twitter feed. Thanks to Jameson Coffee, makers of Speedgoatkarl’s 100 mile blend, for sponsoring iRunFar’s coverage of the race.

Men’s 2012 Run Rabbit Run 100 Preview

While the men’s race isn’t Western States or UTMB deep, it’s got some best-of-the-best runners at the front with a strong crew giving chase. Here are some competitor couplings for you.

Timothy Olson

The two favorites are clear – Timothy Olson (pre-RRR100 interview) and Mike Wolfe (pre-RRR100 interview). In June, Timothy set the course record at Western States (post-race interview). This year, he’s also won the Bandera (post-race interview) and Waldo 100ks, while being runner-up at the Lake Sonoma (post-race interview) and Leona Divide 50 milers run just two weeks apart. Those results have many already writing Olson in as Ultrarunner of the Year in permanent marker. (In my opinion, Mr. Mike Morton kept the UROY race open with his American record 24-hour run [172+ miles!] this past weekend.) Wolfe’s 2012 has been about as far from his ridiculously strong 2011 as you can imagine. So far this year he’s got a 13th at Chuckanut 50k, a 14th at Transvulcania, and an 18th at Western States. Despite that, his 2011 (TNF EC 50 win (post-race interview), WS100 2nd, Way Too Cool 50k win, etc) leave me thinking that there’ll be a very strong and very hungry Wolfe in Colorado this week.

I can only see two guys outside of Olson or Wolfe winning sometime Saturday morning – Jason Schlarb (pre-RRR100 interview) and Dylan Bowman (pre-RRR100 interview). When Schlarb’s not bagging a new state, province, or national park, he’s putting up a solid year on the race course. Most solid among his showings, an 8:13 to win the tough San Juan Solstice 50 miler in June. He’s showed is diversity by also winning the Jemez Mountain 50k, placing third at the speedy Chuckanut 50k, while grabbing fifth at Leona Divide. Bowman was one spot (8th) and 3 minutes behind Schlarb (7th) at the Speedgoat 50k in late July. Earlier in the year, D-Bo won the Leona Divide 50 to earn a spot in Western States where he took seventh. Back in January, he was fourth at the Bandera 100k.

Karl Meltzer

As for a pair that’ll surely run strong with a chance for the podium – Karl Meltzer (pre-RRR100 interview) and Duncan Callahan. Despite his experience, Karl ain’t gonna add this year’s Run Rabbit Run to his list of 30+ 100 mile victories. He started the year strong with a 14:17 at the Rocky Raccoon 100 before adding a win with a 15:28 at the Antelope Island Buffalo Run 100 (post-race interview) in March. While he was only seventh at Hardrock in July, he still ran 28:43. With money five deep and money for the Master’s win, Karl has a couple shots to bring some bank back to Utah. As for Callahan, it’s hard to get a read on this past Leadville 100 champ’s (2008 and 2010) current fitness as he’s only finished two local 50 milers recently, winning both. I’ll assume is trained, peaked, and ready to go.

Early in the race, expect to see Jason Louttit and Dave James in the lead pack. There’s a distinct chance that both will blow up, but on the days they don’t, watch out! For Louttit, hard efforts early led to ninth place finishes at both the Chuckanut 50k (he was up front with 10k to go) and the Speedgoat 50k. Then again, he won the inaugural Arc’teryx Squamish 50 mile in mid-August along with the HURT 100 mile the past two Januaries. James won the Burning River 100 in late July with a 15:02. He’s also won mountain races like the Pocatello 50 mile (2009).

Two complete wild cards in the race are the Tarahumara runners Miguel Lara and Arnulfo Quimare, who’ll both be making their north-of-the-border debuts. You may have heard of Quimare… he was in that Born to Run book.

Finally, two folks that simply must be mentioned in this preview – Nick Pedatella and John Anderson. Nick was second at the Massanutten 100 this spring before taking fourth at Hardrock. Last fall, he won The Bear and the Oil Creek 100 milers. I could list many more top 100 mile performances by Nick – this distance is in his wheelhouse. John has a sparse ultra racing resume the past two years, but he’s previously logged a third and a sixth at Wasatch although his strength seems to be at 50k and 50 mile as he’s won the Rock/Creek StumpJump 50k and Old Pueblo 50 mile, both in 2008.

Women’s 2012 Run Rabbit Run 100 Preview

Ever since the Run Rabbit Run 100 was announced, I’ve waited for a few big names to join the women’s field. Surely after Western States… Leadville?… UTMB?? It’s not happened yet, so it’s not likely to before race day.

Nikki Kimball

Two big names have been entered in the race, only one will be on the starting line. Nikki Kimball’s long been signed up for the RRR100 and we’ve not heard anything to the contrary. That said, she went for the overall Long Trail FKT in Vermont in August, setting the women’s record in the end. Those 272 gnarly miles in the Green Mountains less than a month before race day have to affect Kimball to some extent. Krissy Moehl signed up for the race soon after its announcement, but will sit this one out after racing Western States (post-race interview), Hardrock, and UTMB in the past two and a half months.

While she might not yet be a household name, Aliza Lapierre should be and she will be racing Run Rabbit Run despite not yet being officially entered. She was third at this year’s Western States (pre-race interview) after finishing sixth there in 2011. A few weeks ago, she battled asthma at Leadville, but fought to a fourth place finish in a still strong 21:14. That “easier” effort might just leave enough in Aliza’s legs to pull off the win.

Update: Well, I awoke to an email from Lizzy Hawker confirming that she’s “practicing her bunny hops, and eating lots of carrots.” Having contemplated racing Run Rabbit Run since before UTMB, which she won for the fifth time (post-race interview), the shortened course only encouraged her decision to run RRR100. This will make for an interesting study – who’s legs between Nikki, Aliza, and Lizzy will bounce back the best from their respective recent efforts – and adds another question… will any other top women sign up between now and the race?

What does the relative lack of big names on the women’s side mean? Some very talented women who’ve had success out of the spotlight will hit the podium on a big stage. Here are the women most likely to make that leap this week:

  • Ashley Arnold – Ashley made a strong push into ultras a few years ago taking third at the 2009 Leadville 100 (race report) in her debut at the distance. More recently, she’s concentrated on shorter racing, although she took at impressive fourth at this spring’s Way Too Cool 50k. (pre-RRR100 interview)

    Ashley Arnold

  • Rhonda Claridge – Rhonda’s won some smaller 100s – Slickrock, Cactus Rose, and The Bear – while posting strong performances at the big name Rocky Mountain 100s, including – 2nd Hardrock ’12, 2nd Leadville ’11, 3rd Leadville ’08, 4th Wasatch ’09.
  • Salynda Fleury – To our knowledge, Salynda has never run an ultra, but she did win the Pikes Peak Marathon five years ago and has three runs between 5:00 and 5:04 there. (Note: Salynda is also entered in the 50 mile race and we’re not sure which she’s running.)
  • Melanie Fryar – On race day, Melanie will have five wins and a second place in her six ultras in the year prior. Despite racing a ton of ultras, she’s not finished a 100 since taking fourth at Rocky Raccoon in early 2009.
  • Sandi Nypaver – Although only 24, Sandi has already won two 100s, Mohican and Grindstone, both in 2010. She’s also won the Mountain Masochist 50 in 2011 and placed third at the Ice Age 50 this spring. A (somewhat?) recent move to Colorado should help her cause.
  • Jenny Pierce – Jenny won last year’s Run Rabbit Run 50 mile, 21 minutes ahead of Tina Lewis who recently won Leadville. She also won this spring’s inaugural Quad Rock 50 mile. However, Jenny’s only 100 to date, this year’s Western States 100, did not go as well.
  • Michele Suszek – Michele is having a great year with a win at the Nueces 50 mile (7:25) and a fourth place at the Pikes Peak Marathon (4:42). We’re not aware of her ever racing longer than her lone 50 miler.

The rest of the women in the hares race as of publishing: Leila Degrave, Kathy D’Onofrio, Wendy Mader (former Ironman amateur world champ), and Margaret Ochs.

Call for Comments

  • Who do you think will top the men’s and women’s field’s at this weekend’s Run Rabbit Run 100?
  • Any top contenders that we missed?
Bryon Powell: is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of iRunFar.com. Having spent nearly 20 years as an ultrarunner and three decades as a trail runner, he's also written Relentless Forward Progress: A Guide to Running Ultramarathons and co-wrote Where the Road Ends: A Guide to Trail Running. He calls Silverton, Colorado and Moab, Utah home.

View Comments (71)

  • I hope Arnulfo wins. That would be so cool. I love that book and I can't believe he is still racing, that's amazing. I would love to see the tarahmara beat everyone at that race and especially the sponsored guys.

    Cancel reply

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

  • Assuming young Master Olson is now letting him get some consistent sleep (and, in his own words, he's no longer feeling like a zombie), I don't see anyone touching a fresh Tim this weekend. He seems to have entered a truly purple patch, both physically and spiritually, since his win at WS, and he's refreshingly humble about everything, too. I think that attitude makes him even more dangerous.

    Morton's 2012 is staggeringly good, though - four wins, including Badwater, and now he blows Scott's 24-hour record out of the water.

    I agree Mike is favourite as things stand, now, but if Tim wins RRR would you put him back above Morton for UROY Bryon?

    Cancel reply

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

    • Agreed that Morton should be front-runner for UROY right now. Anyone know if Morton has a fall race or two lined up?

      Cancel reply

      Leave a Reply

      Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

  • Just FYI I saw that Lizzy Hawker is also headed to steamboat, I think she'll be one to watch as well.

    Cancel reply

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

    • Just saw her Twitter message confirming that she'll be there. This makes the women's race more interesting for sure.

      Cancel reply

      Leave a Reply

      Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

    • Thanks, Luke. I'd chatted with Lizzy about the possibility while over in Cham, but she wasn't on the list yesterday. Of course, this morning I wake up to an email from her, an email from another top women's competitor, and two comments confirming she's racing. :-D

      Cancel reply

      Leave a Reply

      Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

  • Bryon,

    Thanks for all the great work you do at irunfar. It is constantly inspiring to me. I am running my first 100 at RRR this weekend, and I am looking forward to being both enlightened and wrecked at the same time. Just looking to keep my RFM going and staying ahead of the hares as long as possible. Thanks again!

    Cancel reply

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

  • I'm excited to run the 100 miles! Thanks for the coverage Irunfar :)

    Cancel reply

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

  • Diapers are expensive... Olson for the win.

    Cancel reply

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

  • Bryon I thought I saw you descending the trail from Millcreek to Lambs Canyon Friday evening...but that cat did not have facial hair and looked much younger. I was the guy practically crawling uphill looking all bonkey.

    Cancel reply

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

    • with all the pseudo anton's we see at races, it was only a matter of time before we see pseudo-bryons. youthful looking, you say? sans facial hair?

      Cancel reply

      Leave a Reply

      Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

    • Van Horn,
      That was, in fact, me. Decided it was time for a shave after a long period of scruffiness. I suspect at least a partial goatee will be back shortly.

      Cancel reply

      Leave a Reply

      Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

  • Only half on topic, better link for Karl's coffee. If he's going to sponsor iRunFar's coverage, I'm going to buy some coffee, but now I have to exercise my google-mojo to do so (yeah yeah, not that hard, and if I can't accomplish that, how the heck am I going to run 100...). Still, direct link please on the sponsorship notes! Oh, and thanks Bryon, thanks Karl.

    Cancel reply

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

    • Hi KenZ,
      Thanks for the suggestion/reminder. I've now got multiple links in there. Now, I've just got to remember to throw my mug in the car so I can drink plenty of Speeddgoatkarl's 100 mile blend in and around Steamboat Friday night! :-)

      Cancel reply

      Leave a Reply

      Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

  • A quick word on Miguel Lara (22 years old) who is the reigning champ in the Copper Canyons currently. He won the 51 mile Copper Canyon Ultra Marathon the past two years, in 7:04 (2011) and 6:40 (2012). Miguel was 6 minutes ahead of Danial Oralek (a 7:06 100K runner from the Czech Republic) and 11 minutes ahead of two time NYC marathon winner German Silva. This is a tougher and longer course (3-4 miles longer and an additional 1800 feet of climb) than when Scott Jurek and Joe Grant ran back in 2007 & 2008 with times of 6:32 & 6:24. Miguel also won the Ultramaratón de los Cañones in Guachochi this July with Arnulfo placing 2nd.

    Cancel reply

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

    • I am very interested to see how Miguel and Arnulfo run. Anyone who has read Born to run know these guys mean business and have the mental toughness to nail a good run. This should make for a lot of excitement. I do wonder how they will handle the aid station supplies as they may not be use to some of the options but I could be wrong.

      Cancel reply

      Leave a Reply

      Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

      • RRR site says that they will have pinole for them so that may not be an issue. Hoping they do well. Almost flipped my lid when I saw their names on the start list.

        Cancel reply

        Leave a Reply

        Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

        • Wow that is great. Should be a very interesting race.

          Cancel reply

          Leave a Reply

          Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

  • Super excited for this week. I am running this as a Tortoise... one of the many aweseome parts of this race is that I will get to see the race develop Saturday morning. Sure, I won't be feeling like cheering much at that point but it will be pretty sweet to see the fast dudes flying on by to the finish. The 5 hour delayed start for the Hares is a great idea! I am very impressed with overall ogranization of this event... everything but not having real good big size map of the race had made planning a bit tricky!

    Cancel reply

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

  • Mike Wolfe's Bridger Ridge Run win and CR this year suggest he may be (as you say) very strong and very hungry.

    Cancel reply

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

  • 1. Aliza

    2. Hawker

    3. Arnold

    Yay Northeast!

    Cancel reply

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

  • I know it's not an ultra, but don't discount Mike Wolfe's win and new course record at the challenging Bridger Ridge Run in Bozeman, MT in August.

    Cancel reply

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

    • But I'm rooting for the comeback kid, Mr. Morton!

      Cancel reply

      Leave a Reply

      Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

    • Nice reminder, I'd forgotten about Wolfe's run at the Bridger Ridge Run. I'm expecting him to crush it this week.

      Cancel reply

      Leave a Reply

      Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

  • "Despite his experience, Karl ain’t gonna add this year’s Run Rabbit Run to his list of 30+ 100 mile victories"

    I'm not so sure I'd count out the ole' Speedgoat...he may have a few wily tricks up his sleeve

    Cancel reply

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

  • Great coverage Bryon! I am looking forward to this race!

    Mike Morton's latest 24 hour AR is simply amazing!!

    Cancel reply

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

  • Tough decision between Morton & Olson. Not only are they neck & neck for UROY but also for single performance of the year. Not sure what else Morton has on the calendar but if Olson wins RRR and does well at NF50 (I assume he's running there) I think he wins UROY. If that's the case, give Morton performance of the year

    Cancel reply

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

  • Seems to me Olson has gone up against better competition at most of his races. Maybe this is a case of me not understanding who runs at Badwater though. None the less both are beast. Too bad Morton isn't at RRR and this could be settled in a real fashion.

    Cancel reply

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

    • It'd be sweet to see a showdown between this duo at RRR, the TNF EC 50, or anywhere else between now and the end of the year. Heck, I'd put on a sweet road/trail hybrid <del datetime="2012-09-11T23:11:47+00:00">race</del> non-event showdown if we couple get this pair to the Wasatch before the snow stops things up. I'd even put up some cash for the winner.

      Cancel reply

      Leave a Reply

      Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

      • Now that would be interesting with a hybrid road/trail race. Could use the American River 50 for that.

        Cancel reply

        Leave a Reply

        Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

    • any 24 hour race is always NEVER a race against someone else, it's against the clock and distance. Morton's 172 miles blew Scotty's away. That is performance of the year in my book. In terms of running against comp, Olson takes that easy, but still, look at Morton's other 100s, badwater. Noone races against someone else running those times.

      The year is not over yet.....definately a tough call. Both are incredible years, similar to Roes' in 2009. Let's hope there isn't a "tie". :-) that would be bullshit.

      Cancel reply

      Leave a Reply

      Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

      • I'll have to go with the guy with the more quality wins. Both guys are extremely impressive with some unbelievable accomplishments in the last year. But, I like the guy who had to fight hardest for his wins against some of the biggest names in the sport. One's a trail runner and the other more of a road runner. Maybe I'm biased with the trails but that seems where the biggest competition is. Look who all has run Western in the history of the race. Jurek (how many times?), Morton, Kilian, Roes, Anton, Mackey, Hal, Clark, etc., etc. Olson beat every time ever put up on that course. Who has run the 24 hour championship? I don't know honestly. Why?

        Morton's win was spectacular, yet Olson's win was bigger. Just my opinion.

        Cancel reply

        Leave a Reply

        Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

        • Morton has gone up against good competitiion! Wasn't the 24 hour championship against the best in the world in Europe?!! Morton is an awesome ultra road guy & Olson is an awesome ultra trail guy!! Kourus's 188 miles still blows me away. Man was he truckin!!!

          Cancel reply

          Leave a Reply

          Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

        • Morton for UROY hands down. Several low 13 hour 100 mile races this year, just falling short of the Badwater record on his FIRST attempt there, smashes the US 24 hour record amid some of the best competition in the World on his way to a world championship win? Come on! With all due respect to Olson, his CR at Western States was accomplished on a very unusual year where the entire field was so much faster than a typical WS year. Would he have been able to do so under a typical year? Who can say. Still his effort was a Course Record, Morton's was an AMERICAN Record. Big difference IMHO. Those of us who remember Morton's accomplishments on the trails before his more recent re-emergence know that the guy can dominate on any surface; his focus just seems to be on the roads of late.

          Cancel reply

          Leave a Reply

          Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

      • Hard to argue that. 172 miles over the course of 24 hours is crazy impressive.

        Cancel reply

        Leave a Reply

        Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

  • Watch out for D-Bow! He's handsome, hungry and ready to roll. Not to mention he's hit the trails hard since States. Go Elk Mountain Runners. (Dylan Bowman & Ashley Arnold)

    Cancel reply

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

  • we did sponsor the race....and the coffee is damn good....if you like coffee.

    Cancel reply

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

  • I think Mike Morton will be running Javelina Jundred this fall.

    Cancel reply

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*